The key difference between Pluripotent and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells is that the pluripotent cells are undifferentiated mother cells (from embryos, etc.), which have the natural ability to differentiate into different cell types whereas the induced pluripotent stem cells are somatic adult cells that have been genetically reprogrammed to show characteristics similar to natural pluripotent stem cells.
A stem cell is an undifferentiated cell that has the unique capability to develop into different or specialized cells. Furthermore, stem cells are of three types namely unipotent, pluripotent and multipotent. If a stem cell can differentiate into one, multiple, and into all cell types, it is known as unipotent, multipotent, or pluripotent stem cell respectively. Amongst the above three types, pluripotent stem cells are important since they can differentiate into all the cell types. A pluripotent embryonic stem cell can develop into an entire human being.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What are Pluripotent Stem Cells
3. What are Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
4. Similarities Between Pluripotent and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
5. Side by Side Comparison – Pluripotent vs Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells in Tabular Form
What are Pluripotent Stem Cells?
Pluripotent stem cells are the undifferentiated master cells that are able to differentiate into primary three germ cell layers. They are capable of self-renewing and differentiating into any type of cells in the body. ‘Embryonic stem cells’ is the general term uses to refer to pluripotent stem cells. A cell that comes from an embryo can produce almost all types of cells in our body. However, after a certain stage, these cells lose their pluripotency. Once they lose it, they become a certain or a specific cell type which cannot be further differentiated. When a pluripotent stem cell is cultured in a laboratory, they are called ‘pluripotent stem cell lines’.
There are several types of pluripotent stem cells. Among them, embryonic stem cells are utmost important. Moreover, these cells are very important in disease therapeutics since they can use to produce healthy cell masses or tissues to replace diseased tissues (transplantation).
What are Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells?
Induced pluripotent stem cells are the second type of pluripotent stem cells. They are reprogrammed cells. They come from somatic adult cells. Their genes are reprogrammed to convert them into natural pluripotent stem cells and undergo normal differentiation path way. Induced pluripotent stem cells have great therapeutic potential. And also they help to study how different diseases are developing and how to treat them. Furthermore, they eliminate the tissue matching and rejection problems during transplantation.
The production of induced pluripotent stem cells should be carefully done in the laboratory. Moreover, most of them derive from somatic cells such as skin cells or other body cells. Several genes are involved in the production process, and viral and non-viral methods are used to introduce these genes into somatic cells.
What are the Similarities Between Pluripotent and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells?
- Both Pluripotent and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells are undifferentiated cells.
- They can self-renew indefinitely in culture.
- Both pluripotent and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells can differentiate into any cell type in the body.
What is the Difference Between Pluripotent and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells?
Both pluripotent and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells are undifferentiated cells that can differentiate into any cell type. Therefore, the key difference between pluripotent and induced pluripotent stem cells is that the pluripotent stem cells are natural embryonic cells while the induced pluripotent stem cells are reprogrammed somatic cells.
Summary – Pluripotent vs Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells are two types of pluripotent stem cells. Both have the ability to differentiate into any cell types. Induced pluripotent stem cells are reprogrammed or genetically modified somatic cells. They show the similar differential potential as embryonic cells. Both cells offer a great therapeutic value in disease treatment. This is the difference between pluripotent stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells.
1.“Boston Children’s Hospital.” Boston Childrens Hospital. Available here
2.“Pluripotent Stem Cells.” History of Stem Cell Research. Available here
1.’422 Feature Stem Cell new’By OpenStax College – Anatomy & Physiology, Connexions Web site. Jun 19, 2013., (CC BY 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2.’Overview of iPS cells’By Humanips – Own work, (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
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